Skip to main content
Christopher Lee Thayer

Christopher Thayer’s Answers

223 total


  • There is no mention of reimbursing me for out of pocket expenses in a settlement letter I received. Will I be reimbursed?

    I received a letter from an insurance co titled "Full Release of All Claims With Indemnity Medical Expenses Incurred and not Yet Paid". In the letter they are offering to pay a settlement for pain and suffering, however there is no mention of get...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Typically when settling a personal injury claim, you will just get paid a lump sum - which is intended to compensate you for all your damages (including any out of pocket expenses you may have incurred and presented). There are circumstances where specific items of damages are specified for various reasons (including the L&I context). If you feel that the settlement offer is not fair, you really should consider consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most offer free initial consultations and case evaluations, which could help you decide whether you should consider actually retaining an attorney.

    See question 
  • Easement driveway on our property.

    We have a home with our own driveway but there is a easement driveway that goes to our neighbors home. The easement is included in our property description . The property line goes across the driveway about 1/2 way to our neighbors home. It start...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The maintenance obligations should be defined by the agreement or document that created the easement. This document should have been included as an exhibit to the title policy you received when you purchased your home. If you don't have that anymore, you can either check with your county auditor (I think this is the link http://gis.clark.wa.gov/gishome/auditor/) or you may be able to just call a local title company and ask them to find the easement documentation. After reviewing the documentation, if you still have questions, you might want to go see a local real estate lawyer to review your rights and options.

    See question 
  • What kind of legal arrangements need to be made in order for 2 couples to buy a house together?

    My husband and I want to buy a house with our friends (an unmarried couple). We are all first time home buyers, and have been pre-qualified by a bank. What type of legal agreement do we need to make amongst ourselves so that we can all own the h...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You absolutely should consult with a lawyer. The law will assume that, absent any agreement, you will own the property as "tenants in common". The problem comes when/if one person wants to sell or get cashed out, etc. You need an agreement on how that will work. If you don't have any agreement, then you will likely end up with a lawsuit. You also need an agreement on sharing costs, including mortgage, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. You need a real estate lawyer who is familiar with drafting such agreements.

    See question 
  • Our passive aggressive neighbor has become focused on our shared property line and under the cloak of darkness harasses us.

    Our house was built in 1986. We are the 3rd owners. We have been here 4 years. HN strung a yellow string up and down the property the day we moved in. He has done this 3 times. He says our driveway and part of the rock wall are o...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Neighbor disputes can be a real challenge - and expensive. Where possible, it is usually advisable to try to work out amicable solutions/compromises, but that is not always possible or feasible. It sounds like you have a very difficult neighbor and you may need to take some action.

    From the facts you have given, it is hard to say what legal claims or remedies might be available to you. If there is an issue as to the precise location of the boundary line, you may wish to have a survey done to know where it is for certain. As to adverse possession, that is possible, but more facts are needed. Very generally, you need: 10 years (or more and you can stack with prior owners) of open, notorious, exclusive, continuous "hostile" (non-permissive) possession of property. An analysis can be factually and legally complex.

    If you know where the boundary line is with some confidence, you may wish to construct a fence - as tall as local regulations allow, and some fast-growing vegetation (look up Leyland Cypress). This might give you some privacy and some separation.

    You may also have the right/need to seek an anti-harassment order against your neighbor. It sounds like you might qualify for such an order.

    I would suggest that you gather up all your facts and documents and make an appointment with a lawyer familiar with real estate disputes. Paying for a few hours of advice at a minimum is probably going to be worth the expense.

    See question 
  • Built a joint fence with our back yard neighbors last year. Just received a certified letter stating that they are moving fence

    in June 2014 we jointly built a fence with our new neighbor. No survey was done. They declined sharing the cost of a survey. Property is 21 yrs old. We jointly estimated based on the original owners (he sold 2 years ago) information that he ga...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The online plat maps are not likely to be accurate enough to rely on. A survey is the ultimate answer. I would first try to work this out by agreement with your neighbor as neighbor disputes can be expensive and often serve to just further alienate the parties. But, if you can't work anything out, then you should probably consult with an experienced real estate attorney who handles property disputes. One option would be an injunction, but you will have to do a cost-benefit analysis with your lawyer.

    See question 
  • A tenant moved out at the end of last month. She left her furniture and bags of personal items. How long do I hold onto them?

    I rented out a room and the tenant moved out at the end of April. My new tenants rented the room but her stuff bed and misc. furniture is in living room and the garage has bags of clothes. She has been called three times to please pick it up. Lega...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The procedure for abandoned property is set forth in RCW 59.18.310. You can find the RCWs by going to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx

    See question 
  • What if a patient, (not an attorney or insurance company, etc ) requests records...do the same WA state copying fees apply?

    ....

    Christopher’s Answer

    Ask for an electronic copy of your records (on a disc, etc.) and reference the HITECH Act. You should be able to get your records for nominal cost.

    See question 
  • Should I dismiss my small claims court claim and refile?

    I had an issue with an apartment charging an additional month's rent, an outrageous cleaning fee, ect and sending me a bill on top of taking my deposit of $1025. I was able to find the company that owned the property, but the only contact informat...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If you listed the registered agent as the defendant, then that is not correct. If you listed the landlord as the defendant, but served the landlord's registered agent, then you should be ok - from the facts as you have described them. You can go online with the county where the apartment was and look up the legal owner of the property. They may also have a management company, which may be harder to figure out - but you should know based on where you sent rent, etc.

    See question 
  • Is a dealership "we owe" legally binding?

    I bought a car in 3/2014. In a We Owe statement the dealership said they would fix "squeaky brakes". They did an inspection of the brakes and said although rusty, they were good...just squeaky. So a year later, with monthly phone calls, they still...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It is impossible to determine a complete answer from the limited facts you have provided. It is quite possible that this agreement is binding, though there may be some argument was to what fixing "squeaky brakes" really means. It would seem reasonable that they would "fix" the "squeaky" part at least. If you are on a tight budget, you might try this: get a bid to repair the brakes properly from an independent brake shop. Then sue the dealership in small claims court. No lawyers allowed in small claims court, so you can do this yourself. If this is not an option and/or you can afford to retain a lawyer, look for a lawyer with experience handling business/consumer disputes.

    See question 
  • We run an organic CSA farm in WA state and we have a hard time getting people to pay on time. How can we impose a late fee?

    We run an organic CSA farm in WA state and we have the hardest time getting people to pay on time. We have never had a late fee, and we want to entice them to make their payments on time, but we don't want to alienate people. How can we add a late...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It does likely depend on what your current agreement say. You might be able to just send out a notice of a new policy and implement it over a period of time. But, you should consult with a business lawyer on this before you take any action. There are other recognized ways to encourage payment; but some of those conflict with sales/marketing/customer service efforts, so it is a balancing act.

    See question